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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) could double in size over the next five years, according to Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the DIFC Authority (DIFCA).
DIFC announced that the number of active companies rose by 7 per cent to 848 as of December 31, 2011, compared to 792 in 2010.
An additional one million square feet of commercial space came on stream in the DIFC, with the volume of leased space rising 14 per cent to around 2.13m square feet.
"Going forward, the financial hub has the potential to continue its extraordinary growth because of the rate of progress we have seen so far," Al Awar was reported by Trade Arabia as saying.
Increase in registrations
DIFC issued 135 new commercial licences in 2011, 71 of which were registered in the second half of the year, representing a 19 per cent annual increase in registrations (113 registrations in 2010).
The DIFCA said that the geographical diversification of total regulated firms illustrates the global integration of the centre with approximately 37 per cent coming from Europe, 26 per cent from the Middle East, 17 per cent from North America, 11 per cent from Asia, and 9 per cent from the rest of the world.
Rise in employment
Al Awar reported the number of staff employed in the free zone last year rose to around 12,000, a rise of over ten per cent since 2010.
"Although the past two years were exceptionally challenging from a global perspective, the community in DIFC was resilient and this was noticed in the net positive growth in the number of clients that tapped the DIFC during this period," he added.